New Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Maya

Spanish Teacher Mrs. Maya

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Spanish teacher Karina Maya is new to Taft this year.

Mia Naples, Reporter

New Spanish II Teacher Karina Maya comes to Taft amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and shares her experience about being a new teacher.

Maya taught at Chicago Hope Academy for one year. Prior to that, she taught in North Carolina for two years. She teaches Spanish II, Honors and College Prep. She mainly teaches sophomores, but there’s a mix of all grade-levels in her classes. She has been enjoying teaching this year.

“I’ve loved it so far and I’m honestly not just saying that! All the teachers and students are so nice and I’ve always wanted to teach at CPS. Also I am located close to the school so I’m excited for when we go back in person because I can attend sporting events and such!” said Maya via email.

Spanish II goal is to build off of Spanish I. It acts as a refresher on Spanish terms coming from Spanish I. Another goal of Spanish II is to introduce students to the culture and customs of the Latin world. 

“I have a handful of students that already speak some Spanish at home, and they’re used to hearing it being spoken a certain way. I’m hoping that by taking my class they can be exposed to learning how other countries speak Spanish!” said Maya.

A sophomore student of Maya’s shares their voice about Spanish II. Jocelyn Mateo has been in Spanish since her freshman year. Currently, the students are learning how to categorize and conjugate verbs, as well as stem changing. 

 “My opinion on her is she is a wonderful Spanish teacher, I have had two other Spanish teachers before and she is the best out of them. She has a good vibe and I’m always happy to go to her class. She is super nice, easy to talk to, and funny, my favorite sophomore teacher at the moment,” said Mateo via email.

Maya made Spanish II helpful for her students by using lots of repetition in her teaching. She uses websites like Gimkit and Kahoot in order to keep her students engaged in the learning. 

“I feel like I’m learning more from her than elementary school spanish and freshmen year,” said Mateo. 

COVID-19 has made grading easier for Maya as everything is online this year. She likes the idea of not being able to commute to work and being able to walk downstairs to her office. Although, there have been difficulties at the start of COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March when remote learning started, there was a lot going on in her life and it was difficult to focus on teaching. 

“It felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Thankfully I am doing much better now, but it has served as a good life lesson and reflection. I try to remember that my students might be going through some personal things that makes it hard for them to focus on learning,” said Maya.

Maya isn’t the only new teacher within Taft this year, there are thirty-two new teachers in Taft ranging from the Art Department to Counselors, Diverse Learners, Individual and Societies, Language Acquisition, Language and Literature, Math, MYP Coordinator, and Science teachers.